Fabulous french onion soup

Prep 25 min
Plus Cooking time: 45 minutes, Broiling Time: 2 minutes
Makes 4 Servings



medium white or red onions, or 6 small white onions
2 tbsp
1 tbsp
3 2/3 cups
beef broth, or 2 284-mL cans undiluted beef broth
1/2 cup
dry white or red wine
1 tbsp
Dijon mustard
6 sprigs
dried thyme leaves
small baguette
1 tbsp
butter, at room temperature
1 to 2 cups
grated gruyère, or emmenthal cheese


  • Peel onions. Then cut each in half lengthwise, slicing through the root end. Place onions cut-side down on a chopping board, then thinly slice into half-moon pieces. Sliced onions should measure about 5 cups (1.25 L).
  • Heat butter and oil in a large wide saucepan over medium heat. Add onions, then sprinkle with sugar. Cook, uncovered and stirring often, until very soft and caramelized, about 15 min. Reduce heat if they brown too quickly.
  • Add broth, wine, Dijon and seasonings. Scrape up brown bits from pan. If using a carton of broth, add 1/2 cup (125 mL) water. For canned, add 3 cups (750 mL) water. Bring to a boil over high. Then cover and simmer over medium-low for 30 min to develop flavour. Discard bay leaf and thyme sprigs.
  • Place oven rack in top half of oven. Preheat broiler. Cut bread into 8 slices, each 1/2 in. (1 cm) thick. Butter both sides of each. Toast on a baking sheet until lightly golden, about 2 min per side.
  • Place oven-safe soup bowls on a baking sheet. Ladle in soup. Top each with 2 toasts. Sprinkle with cheese. Place sheet in oven. Broil until cheese is bubbly, 2 to 4 min. Serve immediately. If making ahead, soup (without toasts) will keep well in the fridge for 3 days or freeze for up to 2 months, and flavour will improve as it sits.

You don’t have to parler français to recreate this bistro classic. The simple secret to a robust flavoured broth? Caramelizing the onions.

Switch It Up!


For a milder flavour, replace beef broth with chicken. (If using chicken broth from a carton, omit water.) Or boost taste by adding 2 tbsp (30 mL) brandy or a 14-g pkg of dried mushrooms.


Try a stronger, nippier cheese, like grated asiago, or a crumbled blue cheese such as gorgonzola or stilton.


No heatproof dishes? Use an oven-safe saucepan. Create a raft of cheese-topped toasts on soup in the pan. Place in oven and broil until toasts are golden, 5 to 10 min.


Calories 407, Protein 15 g, Carbohydrates 36 g, Fat 23 g, Fibre 3 g, Sodium 1649 mg.
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